Polyhalite potash mine construction begins 2014?
The southeast New Mexico site that has been discovered to contain huge deposits of polyhalite for the production of high-quality potash products is moving ahead, IC Potash Corporation reported with an end of 2012 report. The company is hopeful that all the regulatory hurdles can be jumped so that approval to start mine construction can begin by the end of the first quarter of 2014.
"Without question, 2012 has proven to be a very exciting year for our company during which time we accomplished several mission-critical operational goals and objectives. We have materially advanced development of our Ochoa Polyhalite Project and notably enhanced ICP's prospect of future leadership in the global market for superior-quality, high-performance specialty potash products, said Sidney Himmel, President and CEO of IC Potash Corp.
As 2012 began a pre-feasibility study for production at a yet to be established potash products mine in southeast New Mexico showed several positives, and progress toward opening a mine proceeded well during 2012. Project highlights from the pre-feasibility study included:
- Annual production at full capacity of 843,000 tons composed of 568,000 tons of sulphate of potash (SOP) and 275,000 tons of sulphate of potash magnesium (SOPM);
- Operating cost of $147 per ton of SOP and SOPM;
- Projected full-capacity capital cost of $706 million;
- 139 million tons of recoverable potash reserves in the proven and probable ore category within the ICP 40-year mine plan, and an additional 205 million tons of recoverable potash reserves in the mine plan area not included in the 40-year economic model;
- Underground mining rate varies with mine grade, with an average planned production rate of 3.5 million tons of ore per year, at an average concentration ratio of 4.15:1; and
- Average metallurgical recovery estimated at 90 percent.
Off-Take Agreement with Yara International ASA
"This past spring, Norway-based Yara International ASA, one of the world's leading chemical companies and the number-one global supplier of mineral fertilizers, made a $40-million equity investment in ICP at a premium to market price of $1.32 per common share. In addition, Yara committed to a 15-year off-take agreement to purchase 30 percent of all products produced by our Ochoa Polyhalite Project in New Mexico at fair market value,” noted Himmel.
In mid-summer, ICP announced the team of consultants who would conduct a feasibility study on the Ochoa Polyhalite Project that goes beyond the pre-feasibility study. ICP's feasibility study is expected to be completed on or before August 31, 2013.